Day 108: Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

20121110-220011.jpg

Today I am thankful for my husband and his passion for military history and geography and for sharing his passion with our family. I am thankful that he knows his way around and wanted to take us to see where General Patton was buried.

20121110-221325.jpg
In two days it will be Veteran’s Day and every year he takes the kids to a veteran’s cemetery or memorial so that we can be reminded of the sacrifice that was made for our freedom, and to honor his Granddad who served in WWII and survived.

20121110-221154.jpg
Every time we go, I get teary eyed and feel so emotional for the men (and women) who have fought in war and for their families and loved ones, who have also sacrificed. Today was no different.

20121110-220441.jpg
It was a foggy and misty day and seeing the cemetery in this light and with this ambience had an even bigger impact.

We imagined the soldiers fighting in and around Luxembourg with weather conditions worse than ours. It was quiet and peaceful and eerie. We also visited the German cemetery and noticed quite a few differences. Charlie and I made a few observations:

1. There were Crosses and the Star of David marking different burial sites, but there were several more crosses than stars.

20121110-220612.jpg
2. The Jewish tombstones had little stones on top. These are a custom to show that a family member had visited.
3. The names of the men came from several different states.

20121110-220718.jpg
4. One man died on Christmas Day.
5. There were names that represented several different nationalities.
6. The American cemetery was perfectly groomed and balanced and neat. The German cemetery was not well maintained and had a dreary and dark feel to it, even though it was still beautiful and quiet.

20121110-223704.jpg

7. The American tombstones had one name per tomb and were made of smooth, white stone. The German tombstones had four names per stone and were made of a rough, dark stone.

20121110-220945.jpg
8. A few of the tombs had beautiful bouquets.

20121110-221046.jpg
9. General Patton’s tomb was at the head of the cemetery, almost like he was looking over all his men. It was in such an appropriate place.

20121110-220830.jpg
10. The American flag was flying and church bells rang out. I felt at home and was surprisingly so happy to see and hear colors and sounds from home.

Thank you to all the people who do good everyday, who choose the harder right, and create peace and love in their homes, in their community, in the military and wherever they go.

Namaste and peace.

Day 107: Luxembourg

This expat lifestyle is pretty fun, and tiring, but I’m not complaining. We’re taking advantage of the opportunities that surround us and seeing as much of Europe as possible. Everything is new to us, so it’s hard to say no to anything that presents itself. We’re more like, sure, why not?

We are in Luxembourg tonight to be with Juliana and her volleyball team. Since she travels to new countries, we have decided to come along and travel with her to support her and to satisfy our curiosity about seeing new places. We would never have thought to come to Luxembourg otherwise, even though I’ve heard it’s a beautiful city.

In Lux, they speak French, German, a little English and Luxembourgish. We went to dinner tonight and I kept responding in Dutch and Spanish and eventually a few French words came out too! I was a little confused.
20121109-221205.jpg

We got to town tonight in time to see Juliana win her game. Her team is in first place, after winning all day! Tomorrow are the finals and we’ll have several games to watch! I can’t wait! I absolutely love watching her play and seeing her with her friends. She is one lucky girl!!

We’re staying in a budget hotel – since we needed three rooms for two nights with my parents and the kids. Char thinks its the best place ever! The entertainment tonight was a shower with a digital light in the shower head that kept changing colors while he showered. It was pretty cool. And he’s never slept at a hotel with a bunk bed.

Oh the little things that make us happy. Maybe I’ll have to try that shower next!

Namaste.

20121109-221331.jpg